(BOSTON) — Registration for Massachusett's seventh annual Poetry Out Loud is open through December 23. All Massachusetts high schools are invited to participate — there is no fee to register or participate. Watch a video, register, or learn more about how to bring POL to your school at huntingtontheatre.org/pol.
Poetry Out Loud is a national recitation competition that celebrates the power of the spoken word and a mastery of public speaking skills while cultivating self-confidence and an appreciation of students' literary heritage as they take poetry from the page to the stage. The Huntington Theatre Company supports high schools as they stage classroom and school-wide competitions, and then hosts semi-final and state final competitions for the winners. In 2010-2011, a record 19,000 students from high schools in 78 towns participated. The Massachusetts winner receives an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC next spring to compete in the national finals. The Huntington facilitates the Massachusetts competition with support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Since its inception seven years ago, Poetry Out Loud has inspired hundreds of thousands of high school students to discover and appreciate both classic and contemporary poetry.
"Poetry Out Loud creates an incredibly powerful sense of community in our school," says Burlington High School English teacher Benjamin Lalley. "For weeks after the competition, I still hear students telling each other, 'You did a great job. You really knocked that one out.' From performers to student athletes to ESL students, everyone gets engaged in our school-wide celebration of poetry."
"The Huntington Theatre Company makes it so easy for our school to participate," says Malden High School English teacher Jen Clapp. "They provide us with training, materials, poetry anthologies, sample lesson plans, and ideas for how to make the competition all our own. Every time our students have participated in the Final round, they've felt so celebrated and supported."
"The Huntington is proud to lead Massachusetts' support of Poetry Out Loud," says Huntington Theatre Company Artistic Director Peter DuBois. "Its growth over the years speaks to its success. Poetry Out Loud provides a forum for the next generation of orators and creative voices to be heard. We invite schools from across the state to participate this year and discover how Poetry Out Loud can transform everyone from individual students to entire school systems."
About Poetry Out Loud
Recitation and performance are major new trends in poetry. There has been a recent resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry movement and the immense popularity of hip-hop music. Poetry Out Loud builds on that momentum by inviting the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word, and theatre into the English class.
The NEA and the Poetry Foundation have partnered with state arts agencies to support the expansion of Poetry Out Loud, which encourages the nation's youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance. This exciting program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage. The Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Huntington sponsor the Massachusetts contest; the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation sponsor the competition on the national level. poetryoutloud.org
ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON
Since its founding in 1982, the Huntington Theatre Company has developed into Boston's leading theatre company. Bringing together superb local and national talent, the Huntington produces a mix of groundbreaking new works and classics made current. Led by Artistic Director Peter DuBois and Managing Director Michael Maso, the Huntington creates award-winning productions, runs nationally renowned programs in education and new play development, and serves the local theatre community through its operation of the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. The Huntington is in residence at Boston University. For more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org.
About the Massachusetts Cultural Council
The Massachusetts Cultural Council is a state agency that promotes excellence, access, education, and diversity in the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences, in order to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and contribute to the economic vitality of our communities. The MCC is committed to building a central place for arts and culture in the everyday lives of communities across the Commonwealth. The Council pursues this mission through a combination of grants, services, and advocacy for cultural organizations, schools, communities, and artists. massculturalcouncil.org